TQ Renovates this Bachelor Pad to Raise the Wow-Factor
Editorial by Janine Mackie | Photos by Martin Knowles Photo Media
As published in Home Renovations & Decor Magazine
“Raise the wow factor.” Those were the simple instructions spoken by homeowner Guy Linden when he first met with TQ (Top Quality) Construction, the professional design-build renovation company responsible for his total home transformation. From commercials to new recipes, the “wow-factor” is that unscripted reaction that causes surprise, awe and excitement. For Guy, his once ahead-of-its-time Burnaby home was no longer delivering the impact which had initially drawn him to buy it almost 25 years ago. “I’d say about seven years ago, I walked inside the front door, and it had a different type of wow-factor. It was more like, wow; this place really needs some updating!” said Guy. See the full project here!
The house had good bones, along with a great lot and location: tucked into an established neighbourhood surrounded by forest, near Burnaby Lake and a mere 20 minutes from Downtown Vancouver. Initially he toyed with moving to avoid renovating, yet the pristine location of his 4,800 square-foot home was enough to resolve this retired bachelor to stay. “It was the worn carpets, boxy rooms, and massive onyx fireplace that had to go, not me,” said Guy. “I wanted a clean, simple and masculine look.”
So Guy started talking to contractors to figure out how they could update his home for modern living. “I had this huge house but really only used three rooms – I’d go from the bedroom, to the kitchen to the den. I wanted to bring my home up to 2014, make better use of the house and open it up so that all rooms in the back of the house could utilize this great view.”
For TQ Construction President, Ralph Belisle, a renovation professional since 1985 and past President of both the Canadian Home Builders Association of British Columbia and Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, being selected by Guy to be the design-build company of choice to reinstate the “wow-factor,” was a definite compliment. “We’ve won numerous Georgie Awards over the years but to have a new client tell us he had taken seven years to compare contractors, visit renovated homes, track industry accolades and speak with customers on their experiences was especially rewarding. Guy definitely did his research,” said Ralph. Ralph and his team of designers, carpenters and trades people collaborated to improve the home’s “flow.” They envisioned a masculine space and incorporated cool elements like ebony floors etched in white, an indoor garage door to conceal laundry at the push of a but¬ton and an oversized ensuite that rivals any men’s locker room with its opulent shower, standalone tub, heated floors and dual sink basins. “At TQ we are known for being good listeners and delivering the unique lifestyle that each client is seeking,” explained Ralph. “He wanted his home to feel individualistic, yet be easy to care for and durable.”
Along the way there were decisions to make. What would stay and what would go? “A successful renovation isn’t simply about tearing down and starting over,” said Ralph. “It’s about retaining materials and labour which have value and history. It’s about taking a home that’s good and making it better. You never want to lose what you love.” The existing planked ceiling lent well to the contemporary West Coast feel of this home. While preserving it would be a challenge, TQ’s crew strategically worked overhead to update wiring while the roof was replaced. Where there was once a bulky dark wood staircase, there is now a stunning set of risers with glass guard rail and a custom stained wood balustrade. Two new skylights fill the kitchen in natural light. As walls came down, rooms were shuffled; a new front door with glass sidelights installed and modern lighting integrated, the space began to take on a new life. The existing dark kitchen was straight out of an ‘80s sitcom, with linoleum floors, dark cabinetry and vintage coloured appliances. A rather boxy space sandwiched in the middle of the home, it didn’t live up to its owner’s expectations of being a place where friends could hang out together.
Today Guy’s kitchen is a showstopper, relocated and totally transformed with stainless steel appliances, mosaic tile backsplash and an amazing Ceasarstone island lit by striking glass jar pendants. A two-way fireplace naturally divides the modern great room and dining area from the kitchen while still creating an enviable flow. By removing the walls that once divided rooms in his original floor plan, a modern living space was created that is more functional and friendly. This open-concept home renovation eases congestion, brings more light into living areas and maximizes the flow of the home. “It’s changed the way I live,” said Guy. “I now live in the whole home compared to just 20 per cent of it. And most importantly, the wow factor is back!”